Bournemouth striker Josh King has confessed that it would have “been a dream come true” for him to complete a move to Manchester United on January 31.
King rose through the youth ranks at Old Trafford before graduating to the senior squad in 2009, but subsequently failed to establish himself as a regular in the first team.
The 28-year-old was shipped out on loan to Preston North End, Borussia Monchengladbach, Hull City and Blackburn, before making a permanent move to Ewood Park in 2013.
The Norway international joined Bournemouth two years later, and he has since emerged as one of the most important players in Eddie Howe’s starting XI.
King’s 2019-20 campaign has been disrupted by injury, but United expressed a desire to re-sign the forward on deadline day as they looked to bring in cover for Marcus Rashford, who has been sidelined until April with a stress fracture to his back.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer worked with King when he was in charge of United’s reserve side, and was eager to reunite with a fellow countryman at Old Trafford, but Bournemouth reportedly rejected a £20 million ($26m) bid.
King has finally broken his silence over the failed transfer, telling Norwegian broadcaster TV 2: “How close it was I have no complete answer to.
“I have to watch what I say. I had some faith that it was going to happen. And it was a bit sensitive for me considering that I moved to England as a 16-year-old to achieve my dream and wanted to reach that goal at Manchester United.
“It did not [happen] and then I made a choice and left. When you hear that you are connected to United and a bid comes in, then the feelings you had as a 16-year-old come back to you.
“But why it did not happen, I do not know.”
King went on to reveal that he would have been more than happy to go back to Manchester in order to fulfill a lifelong ambition, but he is now eager to put the episode behind him and continue to give his all to Bournemouth’s cause.
“I’m a Bournemouth player and I really enjoy it here. But it had been a dream come true, I will not lie,” he added.
“But that didn’t happen and I’m going to give everything to Bournemouth as long as I’m in this club. The coach [Eddie Howe] was absolutely fantastic with me during those days and was very helpful with me.
“I have respect for how he behaved with me during the little episode. So I just have to keep working hard to try to help the club out of the situation we’re in now.”